Principal Investigator

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Prof. Jianwei (John) Miao

Office: 3-108 Knudsen
Phone: (310) 206-2645

Dr. Miao is a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) at UCLA. He is also the Deputy Director of STROBE, an NSF Science and Technology Center on Real-Time Functional Imaging, which aims to tackle major scientific challenges by improving imaging technologies. Dr. Miao's research interests lie in the interplay of physics, materials science, nanoscience, and biology. He has developed groundbreaking physical methods for high-resolution 3D imaging of nanoscale materials and biological specimens. He pioneered coherent diffraction imaging (CDI), a lensless imaging (or computational microscopy) technique that is under rapid development worldwide. Recently, he pioneered atomic electron tomography (AET) for 3D structure determination of crystal defects and disordered systems at the single-atom level. Using advanced electron microscopies, X-ray free electron lasers, high harmonic generation, and synchrotron radiation, his group will continue to push the frontiers of high-resolution 3D X-ray and electron imaging and to pursue their applications in the physical and biological sciences. MORE

Administrative Assistant

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Nickie Ng

Office: Knudsen 4-140B
Phone: 310-825-3441

Administrative Assistant, Physics & Astronomy.

Postdoctoral Scholars

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Yakun Yuan

Office: 2-240A Knudsen

Yakun Yuan received his B.S. in Physics and Applied Mathematics from Peking University in 2013. After that, he obtained Ph.D degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Pennsylvania State University in 2018. His Ph.D research was focused on studying properties of complex oxides away from ground states. He developed extensive skills in atomic structure characterization of complex oxides heterostructures using phase-retrieval X-ray technique known as coherent Bragg rods analysis (COBRA), as well as ultrafast time-resolved optical pump-probe techniques. He joined the Coherent Imaging Group as the STROBE postdoctoral in December 2018 and continued his interests in revealing novel behaviors of materials by using the state-of-the-art multiscale characterization techniques including CDI and AET.

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Saman Moniri

Office: 2-240A Knudsen

Saman joined the Miao group in July 2020 as a Postdoctoral Scholar. His interests lie in atomic electron tomography of 2D and catalytic materials. He received his PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in May 2020. During his PhD Saman studied the non-classical crystallization pathways in eutectic-forming systems, including those with spiral morphology, through combining experimental techniques – precise synthesis along with multiscale, three-dimensional, and time-resolved measurements – and computational tools – computer vision and machine learning. As part of these efforts, he has gained experience spanning in situ synchrotron X-ray characterization, electron microscopy, spectroscopy, and data science. Saman obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in May 2014 in chemical engineering with minors in mathematics and in physics. While at UIUC, he researched the electrochemical conversion of carbon dioxide.

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Minh Pham


Minh Pham has collaborated with Miao group since Fall 2017 when he was a Ph.D. student at UCLA Mathematics Department. He completed his Ph.D. in May 2020, and right after that he started his Postdoctoral Fellowship at UCLA as an Assistant Adjunct Professor in the Mathematics Department. His research interests lie in inverse problems, image processing, algorithm development, optimization, and deep learning. In his collaboration with Miao group, he develops algorithms in solving CDI, electron and X-ray imaging, including Ptychography and Tomography.

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Colum O'Leary


Colum received his BSc in Physics from Trinity College Dublin in 2016. After that, he obtained his PhD degree in Materials from the University of Oxford in 2020. His PhD research was focused on the development and applications of STEM ptychography. During this project, Colum developed extensive skills for imaging light-element and beam-sensitive materials at atomic resolution, including STEM imaging theory, aberration-corrected (S)TEM experiments and ptychographic algorithm development. He joined the Miao group in October 2020 as a STROBE Postdoctoral Fellow and is working on combining CDI and AET experiments. Outside of research, Colum enjoys running, playing Gaelic football, and telling jokes.

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Qiuwei Li


Qiuwei Li is a Hedrick Assistant Adjunct Professor in the Department of Mathematics, UCLA since Summer 2020. He has collaborated with Miao group since Spring 2021. His research areas lies in machine learning, optimization, and signal processing. His particular research interest is the design of scalable optimization formulations that come with theoretical guarantees. Typical applications include spectral estimation, phase retrieval, and recommendation systems.

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NaYeon Kim


Nayeon Kim joined Prof. John Miao's group in August 2021 as a STROBE Postdoctoral Scholar. In Miao's group, she is working with an interest in electron ptychography in 2D van der Waals heterostructures using advanced electron microscopies. She received her B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering from Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) in 2013 and 2019. During her Ph.D., she studied the local structural transformation by interatomic interactions in layered materials using aberration-corrected TEM, particularly focusing on analyses on atomic resolution TEM/STEM imaging and electron energy loss spectroscopy. For this, she developed skills in moire superstructure analysis and investigated how to correlate structural and chemical evolution.

Graduate Students

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Yao Yang


Yao joined the Coherent Imaging Group in March 2017 as a graduate student. He received B.S. degree in Materials Science and Engingeering from Tsinghua University in 2015. He is interested in the 3D reconstruction of materials by combining advanced algorithm and TEM technique. As a student major in materials science, he believe that with the development of AET technique, he can get the inner sight of materials under different behaviors, such as mechanism of Martensite transformation and growth of nano-materials. Besides research, Yao also likes playing basketball and tennis, as well as video games.

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Dillan Chang


Dillan received his B.S. in Engineering Physics and Computer Science from Cornell University, and joined the Miao group in 2018 as a graduate student. His research interest lies in applying computational methods with atomic electron tomography (AET) and searching for new domains of materials that can be probed with improved methodology. Dillan is an avid fan of podcasts, competitive video games, and national parks.

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Xingyuan Lu

Office: 3-145L Knudsen Hall

Xingyuan joined the Miao Group in September 2019 as a visiting graduate researcher and her research interest lies in coherent diffractive imaging (CDI) and super-resolution imaging. She received both her bachelor’s and master’s degree in Optics from Soochow University, China, studying the light-field manipulation and measurement. By modulating the degree of coherence and polarization, laser will exhibit special characteristics during transmission, such as self-splitting, self-healing, anti-turbulence and non-diffractive. In 2018, she became a PhD candidate at Laboratory of Light Manipulation of Soochow University. Her research focuses on the combination of light-field manipulation and quantitative phase imaging and she has extensive experience in holographic experiments.

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Ada Morral

Office: Knudsen 3-132

Ada received her B.S. in Physics from Virginia Tech in 2020. After graduating, she came to UCLA as a graduate student and joined the Coherent Imaging group. She is currently interested in the 3D reconstruction of materials and is working on projects involving atomic electron tomography (AET), using both simulated and collected data.

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William Liu


William is currently a graduate student in the physics department. He did his undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley, where he started off as a pre-med student and finished with a degree in physics.

Undergraduate Students

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Natasha Marsden


Natasha is currently pursuing her B.S. in Physics from UCLA, and joined the Miao group in January 2021 as an undergraduate student. She is currently working with ferromagnetic materials and algorithm development, in hopes of pursuing a PhD in condensed matter physics. Outside of research, Natasha enjoys running track & field and rock climbing.


Bartels, Matthias

Project Manager Global X-Ray R&D
Carl Zeiss Industrielle Messtechnik GmbH

Bostani, Maryam

Assistant Clinical Professor
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Chen, Chien-Chun

Assistant Professor
Department of Engineering and System Science
National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan

Fahimian, Benjamin P.

Clinical Associate Professor
Radiation Oncology, Radiation Physics
Stanford University

Fung, Russell

Senior Scientist
Department of Physics
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Gallagher-Jones, Marcus

Electron Microscopy Structural Biologist
The Rosalind Franklin Institute

Huang, Zhifeng

Staff Scientist
Carl ZEISS X-ray Microscopy Inc.

Jiang, Huaidong

Professor, School of Physical Science and Technology
ShanghaiTech University, China

Kim, Dennis

Postdoctoral Scholar, MIT


Quantitative Analyst, Quantifi, Inc.

Lo, Yuan Hung (Mike)

Machine Learning Engineer, Zoom Video Communications, Inc.

Lu, Rong

Associate Professor
College of Applied Sciences
Beijing University of Technology

Mai, Đông Du

Senior Researcher
ELI Beamlines

Mancuso, Adrian

Group Leader and Leading Scientist
Europen XFEL, Germany

Pryor, A.J.

Principal Data Scientist, American Tire Distributors

Rodriguez, Jose A.

Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

Salha, Sara

Data Scientist, Inc.

Sato, Carlos

Brazilian Synchrotron Light Source

Scott, Mary C.

Assistant Professor
Department of Materials Science & Engineering
UC Berkeley and LBNL

Song, Changyong

Associate Professor
Department of Physics, Pohang University of Science and Technology
South Korea

Tian, Xuezeng

Assistant Professor
Institute of Physics
Chinese Academy of Sciences

Xu, Rui

Research Scientist
Department of Electrical Engineering
University of Southern California

Yang, Yongsoo

Assistant Professor
Department of Physics, Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST)
South Korea

Zhang, Jianhua

Research Associate
School of Physical Science and Technology, ShanghaiTech University

Zhang, Xuewei

Assistant Professor
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Zhao, Yunzhe (Janice)

Staff Scientist
Himax Imaging Inc.

Zhou, Jihan

Assistant Professor
College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering
Peking University

Zhu, Chun

Staff, AT&T Labs

Zhu, Fan

Associate Professor
Department of Materials Science
Fudan University